FFW-slideshow
Trade union leader of FFW gets detained prior to Labor Day
April 27, 2013

Barely a week before Labor Day, police forces arrest a trade union leader of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) in Malayan Towage and Salvage Corporation in Batangas City. It was late in the afternoon of Friday, April 26 when the courts were already closed for posting a bail.

FFW trade union leader Ramil Estolloso was arrested by the personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) while he was at work on board Tugboat M/T Charger. He is now detained for alleged attempted homicide at the PNP Headquarters in Pagbilao, Quezon. 

The charge is fabricated and was only made in retaliation to trade union organizing of the FFW at the towing company with 400 workers operating all over the country.

Atty. Sonny Matula, President of the Federation of Free Workers, said, "this is a violation of the PNP Guidelines on the Respect of Worker's Right to Self-Organization which was signed last year in the presence of top officials the International Labor Organization (ILO), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the FFW and other labor groups."

"The prosecutor responsible for the filing of information on charges related to or arising from a labor dispute in court without clearance from the DOLE or Office of the President may be held administratively liable for violation of Circular No. 15 series 1982 and Circular No. 9 series of 1986 of the DOJ", Matula added.

Around 30 other FFW trade union officers face trumped-up criminal charges related to union organizing in court or at the prosecutors' office.

FFW calls on the secretaries of DOLE and DOJ to give attention to these cases and take corrective measures to ensure the respect for freedom of association in law and practice in the Philippines.

"It's a pity that this even happened just a few days before Labor Day. This gives the FFW and the labor movement more reason to flock to the streets on May 1 to condemn this injustice," Matula added.

Earlier this year, some trade union leaders of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) were also arrested for trumped up charges emanating from the one a half year strike at the airline.

The FFW condemns these acts of arrest as violations of ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. These are also violations of Section 8 Article III of the Philippine Constitution, which says that the right of the people to organize unions and associations not contrary to law shall not be abridged.

FREE WORKERS

FREE WORKERS

Trade Federation
Trade Federation
Trade Federation
Trade Federation
Trade Federation
Trade Federation
Trade Federation
Trade Federation